Exmoor-based writer Rachel Johnson's got what it takes to be a real 'Lady' for BBC show
Writer Rachel Johnson will uncover the secrets of ladylike behaviour in a new documentary.
The former editor of The Lady magazine, who lives on Exmoor, will learn to ride side-saddle and attend etiquette school for the hour-long BBC4 show How To Be A Lady – An Elegant History.
She said: "I was the last person I would ever cast to make a documentary about the history of elegant womanhood. In fact, How Not to Be a Lady would have been a more suitable subject for me at the start of my personal journey into the world of debutante balls, white gloves, and fruit knives.
"When I came to edit The Lady everything I did from that moment on was judged only by one criterion: was it ladylike? I wasn't sure I liked it. It seemed like a verbal corset, one that I wanted to loosen. So I set out to chart the life of the lady from 19th-century fiction to Little Britain, and found that the word, and concept, is alive and kicking in the third millennium, despite all attempts to kill it off, from the moment the last debutante was presented at court right through to David Walliams shrieking, in full drag, 'I'm a Lady'."
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Rachel, whose brother Boris is Mayor of London, has previously appeared in a Channel 4 documentary detailing her first year in charge of the weekly magazine, which was first published in 1885.